Jon singing
Jon singing at La Parisienne, circa 1986
Jon at busking carnival
Jon at a national busking contest, 1987 (I came second)

Once upon a time (well, for about 10 years actually) I used to sing for a living, accompanying myself on guitar, mostly playing songs from the Swing Era, mixed in with a bit of blues and jazz. Sadly, little survives in the way of decent recordings or even pictures from my singing career, but here are a few fuzzy renditions that give a hint of what I used to do, recorded at the Greys pub in Brighton, 1987. Yes, in case you are wondering, that is just me on the guitar, no backing tapes or rhythm boxes…






My baby just cares for me (Donaldson & Kahn)

Buddy can you spare a dime (Harburg & Gorney)

In the mood (Garland & Razaf)

Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie, Pinkard & Casey) (with Mike Mann on spoons)

I gradually started to do more and more part-time jobs, mostly working with computers, but I carried on singing part-time for a few more years after I took my MSc and got a ‘normal’ full-time job in the early 90s. My last paid gig was around 1997, but I still sing for fun, sometimes in public. Here are a few songs from around 2001, as I was trying to get the hang of making digital recordings, made in my office at home. They’re very quick and dirty, with a very small amount of double-tracking on the guitar solos, but the quality is a little higher than the live recordings…

Guilty (Whiting, Akst, & Kahn)

Every time we say goodbye (Porter)

So Tired (Morgan & Stuart)


And finally…

In 2012 I gatecrashed the OpenEd conference cruise as there happened to be a few of my friends at the conference, and the cruise boat happened to be leaving from a dock that is about 10 minutes away from where I live by False Creek Ferry. After a drink or three or four, I joined in the jamming session, and someone recorded it. I should note that I usually sing this song half an octave lower, and mostly with less alcohol, for reasons that may be painfully apparent…